AAA/Frank Swanson
AAA Editor Notes
Cumberland Knob, at Milepost 217.5, marks the site where the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1935. Several interpretive signs describe the history of the parkway and the philosophy behind its design: to build a road that does not detract from the natural landscape's beauty. A small family cemetery, one of more than 75 within the parkway's boundaries, stands nearby.

Two trails begin behind a building that was the parkway's first concession stand. The Cumberland Knob Trail offers an easy half-mile stroll through a forest to a rustic stone shelter. The Gully Creek Trail leads down into a heavily wooded ravine and along—and even through—a picturesque creek with several splashing cascades. It is a strenuous 2.5-mile climb down and back; hikers should allow at least 2 hours for the round-trip.

Note: Due to the often slick, wet rocks along the Gully Creek Trail, sturdy shoes with a nonslip sole are recommended.

Picnicking is permitted.

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